UPP On Budget 2012 and Compliance

The fact that the government got a clean report from the Committee of Financial Supervision for Curacao and St. Maarten CFt on the budget amendment, speaks volumes of the hard work of the Ministry of Finance under the former Minister of Finance Hon. Hiro Shigemoto. It means that some of the concerns addressed in the budget amendment the Ministry were already working on for some time before the new administration took over.

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One must also remember that the UP led Government worked diligently from day one after achieving country status to build up the Ministry of Finance during a period of 18-months. The groundwork was done under the UP and a solid foundation was laid under the UP including the opening of a CFt liaison office in Philipsburg that would further facilitate the communication process between the Ministry of Finance and CFt.

Simultaneously with the preparatory outline for the budget 2013 which was issued to the Ministries before the former government left office. It also means that progress has been made since the grading of the financial management by means of the Performance Evaluation Financial accountability (P.E.F.A.). Also this plan was in progress before the former administration left office May 21, 2012.

The current Minister of Finance en enjoying the hard work that was carried out by the UP Government and he should give jack his jacket and recognize this fact.

A Simpler Tax System

The ideas for a simpler tax system once again were set forth by the former UP Minister of Finance. Lower income and profit tax rates, gradual shift from direct to indirect taxes with a re-structuring of the current Turn over Tax (ToT) ordinance to remove the repetitive moments of taxation in the chain of transactions. Other revenue generating proposals were also launched such as a fee on alcohol and tobacco and maintaining the competitive price within the region. Also synchronization with the French government as it pertains to the new tax code. Regional comparisons were also made in order to ensure that our country does not tax itself out of the market and remain uncompetitive in the region.

With the resignation of the acting head of Fiscal Affairs per August 2012 where does this place the timeline for the introduction of the new tax code? Will January 1, 2014 still be attainable? What relief will the government come with in the interim? Will the social partners such as the SHTA, Chamber of Commerce, the Real Estate sector, the Foundation Tax Committee, etc. be involved as was the case with the previous UP-led government? What can the people expect in relief before January 1, 2014?

Outstanding Creditors

As it pertains to the outstanding for creditors of the Government, the Finance Ministry together with the former UP Minister of Finance was working on this prior to the resignation of the UP-led Government. As a matter of fact the Ministry was preparing the advice for the former Minister to deal with those accounts which the Ministry felt could be written off following established procedures and laws. It is of course a dynamic process and the outstanding amount goes back many years prior to the former government’s term. And this process will have to continue even after the current government’s term.

What needs to be established is what this government will be doing to ease the burden on the regular man on the street. What are the projections for the slow months of August through October to stimulate the economy?